Myth or Hack: Rice Water for Hair

Does rice water work magic on your hair? I decided to test the viral method and the results were unbelievably amazing.

I was routinely scrolling through TikTok, when I discovered a video, that would change my hair care routine forever.

In the video, an influencer was attributing the silky texture of her hair to the rice water rinse.

So, I decided to test it out myself and see if the hack is actually true or not. The results exceeded all my expectations.

I didn’t research throughly enough the first time and used the wrong application method, but even then my hair became smoother and shinier after the first use.

My hair became super light, easy to brush, shiny, and akin to a hair commercial.

There are a lot of versions of rice water rinse recipes available online.

In this article, I test them all, and rate them on efficacy and amount of time it takes.

In the end, I can definetely confirm that it is a HACK!

So, let’s start from the beginning. What is rice water and where did it come from.

What is Rice Water?

Rice water is a starchy water that is left after soaking or cooking raw rice.

Rice grains consist of 75–80% starch and is believed to contain a whole array of vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamin B and E, amino acids, and antioxidants.

Rice water is good for:

Hair strength: the amino acids in rice strengthen the hair roots. It also has inositol, a carbohydrate that is known for curing thinning hair and baldness.

Hair shine and smoothness: the protein in rice water coats the hair and protects it from heat inducing appliances, pollution, and chemicals.

Hair Growth: the protein boost and the extra protection from damage allows the hair to grow faster and longer.

Eliminate Dandruff and Flakes: rice water made out of red rice can eliminate the growth of the fungus that causes dandruff.

Where did it come from?

Apparently, rice water is not a myth. In 2010, a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Chemists supported the use of rice water for hair and its many benefits.

In the Heian period (794 to 1185 CE) in Japan, court ladies were believed to have floor length hair that they bathed in rice water every day.

The modern example of this tradition can be found in Huangluo village in China. The village is known as the land of Rapunzels due to the long hair of their inhabitants. It averages almost six feet in length and doesn’t lose its color until they turn 80.

The 2010 study also mentions that using rice water for hair increases elasticity and decreases surface tension.

How to make rice water?

There are many recipes and manuals out there. I tested them all and here is the one that yielded the best results.

You will need:

1 cup of rice (white or red whichever you prefer)

6 cups of water

Orange peels or any other smell booster

Here is how to make it:

  1. Rinse the rice in cool water and strain.
  2. Put it in a saucepan with 6 cups of water and orange peels.
  3. Let it boil for 7 minutes.
  4. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture and put in a mason jar.
  6. Leave it to ferment overnight. That way, the nutrients will become stronger and more potent for the rinse.
  7. You can either use it the next day or keep it in the fridge for up to 6 days.

How to use rice water?

The best way to use rice water is to rinse your hair before washing them.

Rinse your hair over a large bowl to catch the excess rice water trickling off the hair. Use a mason jar to scoop that water out and rinse the hair with it again.

Then wring out your hair and leave it as a mask for 1 hour.

Wash and condition your hair as usual.

Use the rice water rinse twice a month!

I found this method to be the most useful for the benefits listed in this article.

When I washed my hair beforehand, they did not seem to absorb all the nutrients in the water and the rinse did not produce the right effect.

However, with this recipe, the results were noticeable after the first use and my hair remained soft and light for days.

Freelance Writer with a passion for Environment and Science. Editor of The Environmental Digest. Subscribe to get my free E-Book at

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